Silent care

Having finally found a reliable Care Agency, I am still so dismayed at the actual care system.  They are all (well mostly) lovely ladies and come in smiling and actually turn up on time.  They are usually very efficient, speedy and do all they need to do, but they just don’t talk.  I can understand why my mum feels so isolated and lonely.

The carer arrives, says hello, goes about her business with a flurry, then departs.  Absolutely no communication in the meantime, unless they are talking to someone on their phone.  So the elderly person just sits there all day on their own virtually isolated from the rest of the world.  Yes their needs may be met, if they are lucky, but a few minutes talking about their day, the weather outside or even asking how they are would go such a long, long way.

Age UK provide a befriending service.  We did try it a couple of times and it was really good, but the people tend not to stay around.

Again, having mum come to live with me has brought home the harsh reality of actually living on your own when you are housebound – just sitting in front of the tv all day and having no friends still alive or anyone to chat to. The evenings are the worse.

My mum is lucky in that she does have one friend who pops in once a week and her sister visits, plus me now, but what about all those other people who don’t have this.  There was a ‘running group’ I heard about once, where runners would pop into an elderly neighbour on their route.  I don’t know whatever happened to that, and I can imagine there are privacy/security/safeguarding and all sorts of other issues to consider, but honestly if you live next to an elderly neighbour, I cant stress enough the importance of actually popping in if only once a week to just have a quick chat. Just do it.

Selective hearing

Mum had a fall last night. She tried to use the commode and slipped off.  It was only when my husband starting pushing me, that I realised that the loud ringing I could hear was her calling for help!

All the years I cared for my daughter, I seemed to sense in advance if she was ill.  Even though she no longer lives with us, I still know when she is unwell.  For some reason I just don’t hear my mum!!  I have a video camera in the room with 2 way audio as well as a doorbell and I still don’t hear her.

Tonight she had to press the watch alarm.  I just managed to get to the phone before they turned up.  I forgot to tell them that mum was sleeping in the front room, so they are likely to bound up the stairs into our bedroom one night! Think I had better get that one sorted out early on.

It was a real struggle to pick her up.  I didn’t want to ask my husband as he has been ill himself lately and also has a bad shoulder, but I thought I might have to.  Mum knew to cross her arms, but it was only after a few unsuccessful attempts that I realised she was keeping her legs straight! No wonder I was struggling.  I got her half up and we both fell on the bed.  Eventually, after a lot of struggling, she managed to get into bed properly but they really should provide the family with training on how to lift someone.

Anyway thank goodness she was okay, but we seem to be going backwards.  She was starting to manage in the night, but her leg has been playing up the last few days and she has been having trouble standing.  Painkillers are not helping so it may be connected with her stroke – I have been reading about post stroke pain – and if it is that there is apparently not much they can do about it!  Looks like we are back to some disturbed nights again.